Lollapalooza Chicago – No excuses: Be there!

Lollapalooza hits Chicago this week. Don’t miss it! Here’s a list of excuses you’re not allowed to use in order to miss out on Lollapalooza:

  • You’re clearly not 20-something anymore and perhaps there’s no hiding it short of aesthetic procedures…But you really love music, especially live, and no matter what your age, that is never going to change! Age is irrelevant: You deserve this!
  • Maybe you cannot afford the pricey tickets; after all, not everyone can justify the expense. If it comes to a choice between keeping a roof over your head or spending the weekend at an unforgettable rock concert…Well, it’s a tough choice.
  • Perhaps you don’t relish crowds or being fenced in, the long lines waiting for something to drink, something to eat, or to relieve yourself. Keep reading for an alternate idea.
  • All the general admission tickets are already sold out…Well, obviously, there are ways to get tickets if you seriously intend to, sold out or not.
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Lollapalooza Gate

Lollapalooza is an experience of a lifetime, and if you’ve a mind to attend, I hope you will. When a gal pal called me a few years back while groovin’ to Snoop Dogg’s performance up close and personal at Lollapalooza, I endured huge pangs of envy overhearing Snoop and his exuberant audience over the phone.

And when I opted to miss Golgol Bordello at Lollapalooza — my excuse was that it was during work hours — I regretted it ever since, especially after reading the reviews and seeing the pictures. I repeat: Do not chance missing Lollapalooza; eating your heart out forever after is no fun.

Many of the bands live stream their shows on YouTube. So one option that’s better than nothing is armchair Lollapalooza. We chose this option when Foo Fighters played in the pouring rain in 2011. Perhaps you could throw your own Lollapalooza house party while streaming Lollapalooza.

But better yet: If you live in the Chicago area, I encourage you to come on down and make the scene! We do this every year; We call it “poor man’s Lollapalooza,” however politically incorrect that may sound. If you live downtown, you’ve got no excuse not to try this. You will discover the outer circle is full of fun-loving revelers. You’re not smashed together with the crowd in front of the stage, but you can still hear the music just as well — maybe better, and certainly differently — and see the light shows and the musicians on the big screen or on stage (bring binoculars).

Memorable Highlights

  • When long-time heart-throb Billy Idol came to Lollapalooza in 2005 — the summer Lollapalooza came to Chicago and made its home here — a gal pal and I took blankets and a picnic over to Lake Shore Drive for the concert. It was surreal with the traffic whizzing by, and we felt a bit conspicuous — but we were not alone: Lots of folks were doing it.
  • Rage Against the Machine was here in 2008, and my husband and I walked over from our downtown abode. As we approached, we could hear the concert just starting as it echoed eerily off the buildings. It sounded surreal, even psychedelic. As we walked through the peaceful park, Zack de la Rocha’s voice cut through the crickets and cicadas with clarity. Walking behind the stage, we discovered that is the best place to hang out if you favor the bass! It reverberated through our bodies and made me feel more exited than a kid on parade day when the drummers march by. We wound our way over to Lake Shore Drive where we found we could see them on the big screen, not to mention the music was clear as it floated out over the lovely lakefront, especially those insane guitar leads and the drums beating out a rhythm that was nothing less than empowering.
  • Walking back from Lollapalooza with thousands of music fans is a high-energy rush. Once while walking home from Lollapalooza, the crowds behind us started vocalizing. The sound was like a wave that caught on and caught up to us and we joined in as the wave of sound continued ahead of us: An unforgettable experience!

Have the best experience possible

  • Lollapalooza is heavily-guarded. Don’t try to penetrate or scale the fences. Plenty of people have been hurt/arrested doing this. It’s not peace-and-love Woodstock. Security guards are right there waiting in the cover of darkness and bushes to take you down.
  • To do a Lollapalooza walk-around will require plenty of walking: The whole area will be fenced off from Monroe to Roosevelt Road and parts of Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive. But look at it this way: What could be better than to be out walking on a summer night in beautiful downtown Chicago. Oh the sights you’ll see, the music you’ll hear, the party people you’ll hang out with in the park and along the lakefront!

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    Perry’s Stage
  • Do your homework: See the schedule and map to find out what time and on what stage your favorite artist(s) will perform. Stay on the Michigan Avenue side, in Grant Park overlooking the train tracks, to best check out Perry’s Stage. Get over to Lake Shore Drive to experience the Grant Park Stage.
  • SummerDance is happening just adjacent to Lollapalooza on Michigan Avenue and Balbo. You can enjoy live free music there without any of the hassle.

You still have time to plan on Lollapalooza this year. There are so many great performers; here are some really popular ones (including links to their YouTube channels):

Thursday, August 3: Lorde, Porter Robinson, MUSE

Friday, August 4: Blink-182, DJ Snake, The Killers

Saturday, August 5: The xx, KASKADE, CHANCE THE RAPPER

Sunday, August 6: Justice, Zeds Dead, Arcade Fire

Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky insiders — or maybe we’ll meet you on the fringe. Either way, it’s all good at Lollapalooza.

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Self-defense, part 2 – weapon of choice

This is the last in my eight-part series on personal safety. What makes me any kind of authority? My father, Ralph E. Clarke, Jr., was an authority who researched and authored books on this topic and drummed this information into the heads of his three teenage daughters in hopes of keeping us safe.

Different states have wildly varying laws when it comes to what you can carry to defend This Oneyourself. Obviously carrying a firearm comes with all sorts of rules and regulations and red tape, and this is a good thing. Too bad, though, that criminals and dangerously unstable people seem to be able to get a-hold of them so easily. If you want to carry a Taser, extenuating circumstances allowing special clearance and permitting needed. Certain types of knifes are also illegal. But a Swiss Army Knife, especially if it includes a corkscrew, could save your life in more than one type of situation.

We often hear that carrying pepper spray or mace is a smart thing for a woman to carry. In most parts of the country, it’s fine to be armed with these products to ward off a potential attack. But be aware of local regulations: In some areas (Illinois, Chicago included), one must be at least 18 years of age to legally carry pepper spray.

Carry other things on your person that you can get to in a jiffy (not by digging in the bottom of your purse) if necessary including tactical flashlights (that can be used not only to blind your opponent but use as a weapon on them as well if big enough), noise makers (air horns are great, but be aware: they’re painfully loud so make sure to aim it away from your own head) and police whistles (also illegal to use in some locations and certainly illegal in many places to use indiscriminately – that is, unless really needed at a time of danger).

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Only a very small number of captured rapists are armed. Rape generally carries a lesser sentence, but rape with a weapon can get someone thrown in the slammer for decades. This works in our favor

If you look like you’re going to be a force to be reckoned with, you stand a better chance of averting attack. Attackers have admitted when interviewed that they will usually avoid women carrying long pointed umbrellas or other similar objects that can be seen clearly from a ways off. They are out scoping for easy prey and if that doesn’t look like you, it’s likely they’ll keep their distance.

If you’re in a remote area, high-crime neighborhood or out after dark, it’s a good idea to have your weapon of choice (i.e., pepper spray) in hand and ready to use. Just remember that anything you can use as a weapon can also be turned against you, so stay out of arm’s reach and in control and don’t let that happen!

If someone is coming right at you, toward you, no matter how small and feminine you are, this is the time to get tough. Hold up your hands and yell “Stop!” or “Stay back!” Many would-be attackers don’t want your kind of trouble. They’re looking for a quick and easy mark, not someone who is going to give them trouble.

Even better, hold out your pepper spray or weapon of choice and shout in a loud serious tone, “I have pepper spray and I will use it!” What if you find yourself out and about and don’t happen to have a self-defense product with you? Pretend! The aggressor will probably not know the difference. Even a squirt gun can look menacing, especially at a distance and in the dark. If possible, do not shake and moderate your voice likewise. Let the pest know you mean business and you will hurt him or her if he or she tries to hurt you.

  • Any of the following that you might have in your purse or briefcase at any given time can be used as a weapon:
    • Pencil or pen
    • Nail file (the metal ones with a sharp end)
    • Tweezers (especially the ones with a sharp end)
    • Cuticle clippers
    • Pin (the longer and bigger the better)
    • Hair spray (to be sprayed directly into your assailant’s eyes)
  • Poke your umbrella [point, although most of them don’t have points as they once did] as if it’s a sword into the midsection or any soft area of your opponent’s body
  • Some people used to say keys were a good deterrent, but you have to be way too close to an assailant to use them as a weapon. However, if that’s all you’ve got, use them if it comes to that. Hold them concealed in your hand enough so that the assailant might think you’re holding a gun; don’t let him see that they’re merely your set of keys.

Look at these pictures to ready yourself psychologically to get tough against victimization. And consider getting the book “100 Deadly Skills,” a book my father gave to me in which I learned how to disarm an armed attacker. If you’re the one brandishing a weapon for your own protection, you also must be aware of how your assailant might try to disarm you so you could prevent that. Whatever you do, don’t let an enemy get too close to you while you’re holding a weapon.

Remember this: If you protest like you’re mad and act like you’re ready to fight, this can scare off an assailant. It won’t take long to get your point across, and let’s hope they scat. Then call the police immediately while getting yourself quickly to the nearest safe location.

Coming up: Posts on fun summer stuff to do! Follow by Blog to stay informed on what’s happening, especially in Chicago, so you can make the most of summertime. In the box on the right, insert an email address then click on the Follow button. You’ll get an email from WordPress asking you to confirm your subscription. Click on the link they send – and that’s the only thing they’ll ever send you — no spam — only my articles, hot off the press. Life is exciting; let’s jump in with both feet!

Self-defense, part 1 – let’s get physical

Male or female, this post has vital information to ward off an attacker. For the sake of continuity after my previous two articles on how not to get raped, the following is addressed mainly to women coming up against a male attacker. But men could use these tactics too.

Women, we are stronger than we think; and we are also smart, agile and resourceful. We can run and hide, dodge and duck. And when fearful, our adrenalin flow makes us much stronger than usual, like three times as strong – but also, when fright kicks in, sometimes confusion does too.

That’s why mind rehearsal is a good idea. No, it will not be your favorite form of daydreaming, far from it! But it’s important. Police women are trained to call on their wits in a hairy situation and they practice mentally by inventing dangerous scenarios and thinking up ways to escape.

GET FIT AND STRONG! Work out regularly, doing both cardio and muscle strengthening exercises. Your own safety is yet another good reason to keep a regular exercise program. Women’s muscles are not weaker than men’s; they’re simply smaller, putting most men at an advantage over most women. Our large leg muscles can be our ally in defense, but that takes balance, skill and know-how — in a word: training.

Get MAD if someone tries to take advantage of you! Be willing to HURT THEM. If it came down to who would survive, you or them, you would want it to be YOU. React like you are fighting for you life; you may well be!

Just as a weapon can be turned against you, physical combat is not a sure thing. Better to stay out of reach, scream and run; but if someone has a-hold of you or tries to, you may need to use physical force. STRIKE FIRST. Get the first lick in! Catch him off-guard before he catches you off-guard! Surprise works in favor of whoever makes the first move.

Strike quickly and with all your might at an assailant’s weak spots with the intention of wounding. After all, if someone wants to hurt you, hurt them before they get the chance. MAKE IT COUNT so you’ll be able to break away and get to safety. Here are some ways to fend off an attacker:

  • Jab your knee into his groin or whack him there with something hard — just make sure you don’t miscalculate and that you do it forcefully. This move may be blocked if the assailant is wearing a heavy coat.
  • Gouge the eyes with your thumbs. This is a very vulnerable part of the body. Poke hard. Yes, it sounds disgusting, but DO IT. You want to LIVE.
  • Strike his Adam’s apple, nose, or temple; you can use your purse or any heavy object, even the force of your hand — just be careful to not hurt your hand.
  • Grab his neck, try to aim for his windpipe, squeeze real hard. Poke him right in the soft spot in the middle of the neck above the collar bone; aim!
  • Use your fingernails; scratch hard.
  • Bend his fingers back. When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible pushing down on them with as much pressure as possible.
  • Bite if you have to. Do whatever it takes.
  • Your elbows are strong and sharp. Use them if as weapons: for instance, gouge an attacker in the ribs with your elbows.
  • Kick him in the shin(s) so as to disable him.
  • Knees are very vulnerable; a good swift kick here can take down even a big guy.
  • If grabbed from behind, smash down hard on his instep with your heel.
  • Also if grabbed from behind, head butt him in the face by quickly and violently throwing back your head.
  • If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh real hard. These are sensitive areas.

Rapists interviewed behind bars concurred: they’re not looking for nor wanting any type of resistance; they’re hoping for easy prey. If you start causing trouble, making a real racket and fighting him off, chances are better he’ll flee.

Gals, some of these suggestions may turn your stomach. By nature, we are nurturers and don’t want to hurt anybody. But consider this: You don’t want to be hurt either! BE FORECEFUL when you fight off an attacker.

There is probably not a single person in the whole world who won’t benefit by taking a self-defense class or at least learning basic self-defense tactics — especially students, women, anyone living in the city, especially in a high-crime neighborhood, or anyone who is ever out after dark — that’s probably all of us. Don’t approach this half-heartedly, thinking that one class will enable you to street fight. Every bit helps, but it’s best to take a full complement of classes. A good school that teaches women basic self-defense and specializes in using the leg muscles is Impact – I was very impressed when I went to a girlfriend’s graduation to see how they teach women to use their thigh strength to ward off attackers. There are many self-defense methodologies out there. Choose a class and go.

My father, who wrote books on staying safe, gave me a book with a strange title — yet it contained great advice: “100 Deadly Skills,” available online. You can even learn how to disarm someone with a weapon – though such things take continuous practice.

DEVELOP AN ATTITUDE; see yourself as strong and capable; carry this vision of yourself wherever you go! Watch some inspirational movies about women who fight back and win. There are plenty of popular movies with athletic, superhero-type women. They are not squeamish; they fight when necessary! Hopefully this will become more of what the ideal woman will be like in coming generations. You can start to be this woman now!

James Bond is the ultimate survivor, as are many commonly revered movie heroes. Next time you watch such a movie, don’t just enjoy it, but let the survivor mentality rub off on you while taking note how to survive. You may find yourself in a life-or-death situation where you have to think fast. What would the James Bond character do, or Angelina Jolie in one of her tougher roles? YOU CAN SURVIVE!

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Avoiding rape — or worse (part 2) – your escape

Gals, read my previous articles on staying safe in the world. This is one of the scariest subject matters, one we don’t like to think about — but stuff like this happens out there in the world, so we must be vigilant plus know how to get away from someone who would cause harm. Following are simple, ingenious, tried-and-true suggestions, some from Ralph E. Clarke who researched this topic exhaustively and wrote a series of books on the subject of personal security.

Daddy's Book-Be Safe Girl-2nd Ed.

Make Noise

To scream or not to scream: This depends on how close you are to them and whether or not they have a weapon; if they have a gun, keep your voice low and soft and don’t make any sudden moves. If the intent is simply to get your goods, cooperate up to a point. The contents of your purse are not worth your life!

Screaming “Fire!” may actually be more help than screaming “Help!” especially in the city and these modern times – because people are sometimes wary to get involved. Yelling “Fire!” instead will draw people to the scene because most people are gapers.

As a last resort, break a window, possibly by throwing something through it; this will create noise and possibly set off an alarm system. Curious people in the vicinity will head your way for a look; it’s human nature. Just make sure to shield yourself and don’t hurt yourself when breaking glass.

Run!

If the predator has a gun and your intuition tells you he means to kidnap, hurt or do worse, as long as you are not in his firm grasp, it’s best to make a run for it. Even trained police only make four out of ten shots even at a short distance of three to nine feet. This is because shooting a gun at someone is stressful and affects aim. Chances are your foe would shoot and miss; and even if you do get hit, being further away could avoid him hitting a vital organ. Courage: Make a break for it if possible.

Run and keep running till you are safe!

Be careful where you run to: Don’t run into a dead-end alley and don’t run up; once you reach the top, there’s no place else to go. You see this common mistake in movies a lot, so keep your wits about you because blind fear can make you do stupid things you wouldn’t ordinarily do.

Hide, but leave yourself an escape route in case you are spotted – or be prepared to get the first strike in case you are found.

In most cases, don’t run in high heels, unless high heels are more natural to you than bare feet. If you find you have to run away from someone in your heels, if you have a second, kick them off and pick them up, depending on the pavement. You could use your shoes, especially spiked heels, as weapons.

Put obstacles between you and your chaser. Run around and around something, i.e., a parked car; there’s a chance the enemy will give up, especially if help arrives. This tactic has saved lives.

A rapist is hoping to get hold of a gal and quickly move her to another location where he can get what he wants and not have to worry about getting caught. So sometimes it’s not just an attack, it’s an abduction. Your objective is to get away and not be taken away. Women, stay on your guard and, if necessary, take action quickly.

Who’s your favorite female superhero? BE HER!

Avoiding rape — or worse! (part 1) – be a deterrent

Hopefully you have read my previous articles on personal safety and will not ever find yourself confronted by a scary attacker. If you haven’t yet, please, for your own sake, do so, so you can stay safe.

This post has vital information to ward off an assailant. I am addressing this article to women in the event of an encounter with a male aggressor. I don’t mean to leave the fellas out, as 10 percent of rapes per year happen to males. So, everyone, be careful out there!

Of course, this is not a pleasant subject, but given that every 98 seconds – basically a minute and a half – someone in America gets sexually assaulted, it’s important. Ladies, here are some statistics that can help you avoid being a victim:

The U.S. Department of Justice reports the most common time that rapists attack women is between 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. So be careful if you work late or go out after work. And strive to get your shopping done earlier during the day, like on your lunch breaks or weekends. Another time of day it’s said that rapists attack often is between 5:00 – 8:30 a.m. So be careful going to work too! In fact, whenever you are out, especially if you’re in a remote location or a more vulnerable setting, always be on your guard!

Women are more likely to be jumped and abducted from parking lots than any other locale, especially grocery store parking lots. Large indoor garages are the second most dangerous place for women to be alone. The third spot is public restrooms. Sometimes you need to be in these potentially perilous places. Be hyper-alert, listen to your intuition, be smart: use the buddy system, and if something seems suspicious, enlist the help of a security guard.

If you are the last one to leave your place of business and close it up, you could be targeted. A woman should not accept this duty if there’s a man who could do it instead. Of course, in some retail professions, it may be unavoidable. Be ultra-aware if you are in this position.

Rapists behind bars were interviewed and many similarities were found as to who they approach and how. Here’s what to watch out for:

Long-haired females are far more likely than their short-haired counterparts to grab their attention. It’s not just about a feminine appearance; it’s about the vulnerable aspect of the hair itself: Hair can be grabbed, especially in a ponytail or braid. Tuck in your hair if you’re in a high-risk situation.

Women who are dressed for easy-access make easier targets. Unfortunately, this includes skirts and dresses with no hose. Yes, that seems so unfair – we should be able to be as feminine as we want to be, especially on a hot summer day – but dress wisely. Clothing that’s easy to rip open is also something would-be creeps will notice.

Women who are otherwise preoccupied, like on the phone, digging through a purse or otherwise engaged in something distracting are all-too-easy to catch off guard and overpower.

When you walk, walk tall and with an aura of confidence: Mind your posture, hold your head up, swing your arms purposefully. Use eye contact to someone who is menacing; make it the evil eye.

Here’s something my father, Ralph E. Clarke, Jr., author of “Be Safe, Girl,” recommended: If you suspect someone is following you or even if they get way too close, be bold. Muster up your courage to face them dead-on and speak — not in a soft, small voice, but with a loud, clear tone. In fact, be mad; use a manly voice. Look directly at this person, ask a question (like the time) or  blurt out a comment about the weather – that’s a trick that could confound and throw a would-be rapist off kilter. He knows you’ve seen his face and could identify him in a line-up. This also humanizes you; you’re not just prey anymore, you’re a fellow human being. This tactic could cause him to go hunt down someone more susceptible and/or even deter him from attacking anyone.

Have your cell phone handy and always know your location; the very second you sense you may be in danger, immediately call 9-1-1 and loudly give the police your exact location! Even after an undesirable person saunters off, call 9-1-1 immediately and get to a safe place.

Walk safely, part 4 – night owls

 

I hate to say it, because Chicago is a great city offering many fun events, but recently, crime has increased in Chicago. This is likely a result of the meteorological theory  known as CLASH, with the recent spike in temperatures from moderate (in the 70’s, Fahrenheit) to really hot (in the 90’s) temperatures. When night falls, especially since it’s still early summer, the temperatures fall back to comfortable again. The temptation is to be out at night when it’s pleasant, but that’s also when more criminals are out, as it’s easier to do wrong hidden in the shroud of darkness.

Fortunately we’re at the time of year when daylight lingers. And yet, there are also more homeless people out in the summertime. After dark, if they don’t have to place to retreat indoors, they are still out roaming the streets. Not that the indigent are generally dangerous, but if you are a “have” and they are a “have not,” best to avoid crossing paths with them – or any stranger – on a lonely street.

Downtown State Street used to feel perfectly safe, even late. But now it changes as darkness falls. It transforms from a crowded, touristy mecca to one that becomes inhabited with the types of people who walk down the street shouting (God forbid they would turn their hostility toward you), groups of rowdy college students spewing obscenities and acting tough (as if they expect others to move aside when they barrel along) and dudes who look and behave like thugs. It’s a real shame.

The park on State and VanBuren is especially seedy as evening approaches. A couple other downtown areas that don’t feel safe are by Clark and VanBuren and over by Wabash and Harrison as well as any area that is practically deserted and not well-lit where you need to walk by an alley or beneath el tracks. Trust your intuition.

Don’t procrastinate; get out to run errands while it is still light out (even though many stores stay open later); it’s simply safer. Bear in mind also that in the city, between tall buildings, it seems darker earlier; the sun may be shining elsewhere, but if it’s not shining on your path, you are walking after dark.

What to do if you are out at night to stay safe?

Practice the tips in my previous articles on walking safely including:

  • safety in numbers,
  • stay alert,
  • project confidence,
  • keep a safe distance from others,
  • have safety devices handy — a flashlight, for instance; there are small ones good even for tiny purses.

Avoid dark districts; walk in the middle of the street until you get to a well-illuminated area.

Note moving shadows; use your peripheral vision.

Protective coloration can work to your advantage, like wearing all black at night to help you remain less visible to predators (though it’s a traffic safety hazard).

On a desolate street very late at night, it might even be wise to stay out of sight of passing cars or intimidating pedestrians, including bands of loud, rambunctious roaming groups, by ducking behind something and hiding; in this case, darkness is your friend if it can conceal you. Yes, there are for-real bullies in this world, and you needn’t be their latest plaything.

Avoid walking after midnight; this is when most violent crimes happen on the street.

If you’ve been drinking, forget walking! Yes, even if you feel you should walk awhile to sober up. Man or woman, you’re an easy target whether you think so or not! Don’t be fool-hearty; get a ride from a friend, contact Uber or hail a cab safely homeward.

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Your personal security is vitally important, and so is that of your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and fellow students. Pass what you are learning in this series of crime prevention articles along to those you care about.

To be aware of safety doesn’t mean being fearful or stifled, but rather, self-assured that you can avoid danger. “Be confident and go unafraid in the world!” (Ralph E. Clarke, Jr., “Be Safe Girl,” p. 29)

Walk safely, part 3 – possessions and props

Here are more good ideas (see my two previous posts) for safety while walking. Get used to these ideas, remember them, practice them, now and always. It really is true that “you can’t be too safe.”

Possessions

  • Don’t carry large sums of money.
  • Don’t wear flashy jewelry in bad neighborhoods, whether on the street, on public transportation or even in your own vehicle:
    • Turn rings around so the gemstones are concealed underneath;
    • Tuck fine jewelry into your shirt and expensive watches and bracelets under long sleeves. Or if you’re not wearing long sleeves, leave off your nicer pieces while commuting and put them on once you reach your destination.
  •  How to carry your purse or man satchel:
    • Don’t dangle your purse by the straps.
    • Clutch it like you’re carrying a football: On your front side, close to body, hold onto the straps too,
    • fastened tight so no one can reach in from behind;
    • with the clasp on the inside;
    • hold your bag on the inside (toward buildings, especially when approaching a subway entrance) rather on the street side to make it hard for someone to snatch and run,
    • and possibly even under your coat;
    • You may think your bag is more secure if you wear it crosswise across your body, but bear in mind if someone does try to grab it and run, you could be choked this way.
    • And “don’t put it down, not even for a moment!” (Ralph E. Clarke, Jr., “Be Safe Girl,” p. 14) This includes when you’re out dancing. Trust me on this: Stupid me, I learned this the hard way.
  • Be alert to anyone following you after you leave a bank, ATM, or currency exchange.
  • If at all possible, don’t use an ATM in a remote location. And look it over first to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with; it might contain spyware.
  • Do not walk out of a store or step out of a cab with your money or wallet still in hand. Put it away before hitting the street. Someone could grab it out of your hand so easily.
  • Be guarded and low-key when paying for something.
  • Do not spread your belongings out on the store countertop.
  • Do not give personal information aloud, like your phone number, if asked by a store clerk, especially within earshot of others.
  • Make sure you get your change and credit cards back and stashed safely before walking away.
  • If approached by someone asking for money, decline politely and walk on rapidly; check to make sure they’re not following. (Ralph E. Clarke, Jr., “Be Safe Girl,” p. 12)

Props

  • You are an easier target to a thief if you are on your cell phone because you’re distracted and cannot hear as well what’s happening around you.
  • Avoid wearing headphones, or if you must, leave one ear plugged in but not the other so you can still hear what’s going on around you.
  • Always carry a flashlight; never leave home without it! This can be invaluable to see in the dark, shine in the eyes of a pest, or even use as a weapon.
  • In a dangerous locale, hold an alarm device in-hand or a police whistle up to your lips and ready to use if needed. Being able to scream is always good, but have you ever been too scared to scream? Or what if you have a sore throat or laryngitis? That’s why safety gadgets that will work infallibly to make a loud noise to ward off an attacker and draw attention to your situation are important.
  • In a questionable neighborhood or anywhere after dark, walk with your cell phone in hand and 9-1-1 already dialed so that all you would have to do is push the button to reach the police — and know your exact location, nearest street names and nearby buildings or landmarks, at all times.

By remembering the tips from this post and my two previous posts in this series on personal security, you stand less chance of becoming a victim of crime. Pass these posts along to those you care about, especially the young people in your life  — like your offspring who may be away at college, especially if they’re in a big city — who may not know any better, so they won’t have to learn the hard way. Because having your stuff stolen hurts.

Stop by my blog again for more insider information on staying safe on the streets…Follow my blog to get this information even quicker. Here’s to your safety and that of your loved ones!

School Girl
Photo credit: Jim Goodpasture